Student orientation leaders carrying boxes to dormsWelcome to Elon!

We are excited you are joining us for Fall 2020! Whether you are coming to Elon as a first-year student or a transfer student, New Student Orientation (NSO) will ensure that your transition to Elon is smooth and enjoyable. We recognize that this will not be the same orientation as previous years, but know that we will prioritize health and safety in addition to finding ways to deliver on the New Student Orientation goals despite the changes. Our goals for New Student Orientation remain the same, that new students will:

  • Connect with peers in meaningful ways and share experiences to broaden their community.
  • Engage their intercultural awareness and learn Elon’s common language, perspective, and skills to bolster their understanding of self and how their identity contributes to the broader Elon community.
  • Discover Elon University’s traditions and campus culture.
  • Learn about and deepen their understanding of the University services and procedures that they will use throughout their years at Elon.
  • Intellectually engage with faculty, staff, administrators, and other students to strengthen their understanding of the academic expectations of the college experience, including the Core Curriculum, engaged learning, and academic advising.
  • Enhance their understanding of University requirements and resources designed to support them as they strive for academic success.

Elon will expand new student move-in times to multiple days over the course of August 14-15, reducing congestion and supporting physical distancing in residence halls. Students have been assigned a move-in date and time and can access that information in their Acorn Account. As much as possible, students should limit the number of family members who help them move-in, preferably being assisted by only one or two others. Classes begin on Wednesday, August 19.

When coming to campus, be sure to follow these driving directions.

Arriving on Campus

Due to the updated academic calendar, new students will be arriving earlier than anticipated. Students will be assigned a specific date and time (August 14-15) for Move-in. Students, check your Acorn Account for your assigned date and time.

Spreading move-in over multiple days from August 14-15, helps reduce congestion and supports physical distancing in residence halls. Please adhere to your assigned date and time. As much as possible, students should limit the number of family members who help them move-in, preferably being assisted by only one or two others. We encourage you to bring your own dolly or wagon to help assist you in the move.

On arrival to campus, all students and families must report first to Schar Center for a Health Check-In. There, students and their family members will be:

  • Required to bring and wear a face covering while they have their temperature checked
  • Receive their Ready & Resilient Kit (Elon face covering, hand sanitizer, tissues, information, thermometer, etc.)

Staff on site will verify:

  • Completion of Elon’s required PCR COVID-19 testing
  • Completion of required health training
  • Submission of immunization records (first-year students only)
  • Signature of the Healthy Elon Commitment

Once cleared, you will be directed to your Residential Neighborhood to get your room key, Phoenix Card, New Student Orientation materials and begin to move in!

Please follow the driving directions to the Schar Center and then to your Residential Neighborhood.

Elon Bound Driving Directions & Map

First Year Students

We’re developing a re-imagined orientation for first-year students which will include numerous small group engagement opportunities held in person.

Orientation will begin after dinner on Saturday, August 15. There will be optional activities throughout the day on Saturday to engage students who move-in on Friday, August 14.

More information about the New Student Orientation schedule will be posted in mid-July.

Transfer Students

We’re developing a re-imagined orientation for transfer students which will include numerous small group engagement opportunities held in person.

Orientation will begin after dinner on Saturday, August 15. There will be optional activities throughout the day on Saturday to engage students who move-in on Friday, August 14.

More information about the New Student Orientation schedule will be posted in mid-July.

International Students

For fall 2020, International Student Orientation is all online.

Normally, students would arrive to campus a few days before New Student Orientation. Instead, given the variability in student arrivals this year, international students are to watch eight orientation videos recorded with partners across campus to help their transition to campus. Students may watch the videos at their own pace – the videos total about 2.5 hours.

International students also participate in New Student Orientation, which begins Friday, August 14. If you were unable to join us in-person be sure to complete the virtual New Student Orientation experience which supplements International Student Orientation.

Students can learn more from the Global Education Center’s website.

Parents & Families

Out of an abundance of caution, most of our Parent and Family Orientation will be held virtually this year. All information can be found on the Parent and Family Virtual Orientation Page. 

There are five scheduled Parent and Family Orientation Sessions scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Families are encouraged to attend those events virtually if possible at: . Recordings of the sessions will also be available at next week.

In keeping with guidance from the CDC and state health officials, there will be a limited number of physically distanced seats available in Alumni Gymnasium for those who cannot use remote technologies. Those seats will be available until the reduced capacity of the gym has been met. If you choose to attend a session in Alumni Gym, please take special care to keep physical distance at entrance points to the facility.

If you attend the sessions in-person, please go to the session that corresponds to your student’s assigned move-in time. If you are watching remotely, you may access any of the session times. Session times are as follows.

Move-in Date Student’s Assigned Move-in Time Parent & Family Orientation Session
Aug. 14 8 – 11 a.m. 1 p.m.
Aug. 14 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. 3:30 p.m.
Aug. 14 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. 6 p.m.
Aug. 15 8 – 11:30 a.m. 1 p.m.
Aug. 15 Noon – 3 p.m. 5 p.m.


New Student Orientation Activities

We’re developing a re-imagined New Student Orientation experience for all new students. Activities will occur post Move-in through Tuesday, August 18. You will participate in a small group of 12-15 students and an Orientation Leader, an upperclass student who has been trained to give you all the information you will need to be successful at Elon. Whether you are new to college, or just new to Elon’s campus, Orientation Leaders will make sure you feel confident and competent as you begin your Elon experience.

You will also have the chance to meet with your academic advisor, the person who will work with you to help plan for coursework and experiential learning until you declare a major. Once you declare a major, you will be assigned a new academic advisor in that disciplinary area.

In addition to making sure you are prepared to begin class and engage in academics at Elon, Orientation will help you learn about campus life and cultural values at Elon. Elon’s values a strong, inclusive community in which students understand the importance of different identities respectfully engage with each other across those differences. A full schedule will be provided at check-in in August.

New Student Convocation

New Student Convocation is an important Elon tradition featuring an official welcome to the University from the President, the Provost, and other senior administrators. New students also receive an acorn, a symbol of the ways in which they will grow during their time at Elon.

For Fall 2020, students will experience New Student Convocation with their Elon 101 cohort, instructor, and peer educator via a live-stream. The live-stream link will also be shared with families, in addition to a recording that will be posted online following the ceremony.

New Student Convocation can be live-streamed at 

FAQs About Move-in 2020

What is the procedure for physical distancing and sanitizing during move-in?

Elon University will require students and families moving in to wear face coverings throughout the move-in process. Face coverings will be provided to students as a part of their Ready & Resilient Kit. Elon will not provide face coverings for a student’s family members or move-in helper, so please plan accordingly. We will post safe usage guidelines including physical distancing and occupancy limits for all common areas, including lounges, kitchens, and lobbies. We will place hand sanitizing stations in buildings, particularly around elevators, restrooms, and common areas. Carts will be provided for aiding in the move-in process and each will be cleaned between uses by an Orientation staff member.

Will there be volunteers to help with my move-in?

There will be limited volunteers to help with move-in this year in an effort to limit the potential spread of COVID-19. Orientation and Residence Life staff will be in the buildings and available to provide directions, but we encourage students and families to be ready to move their own items into their room. We will have limited staff available to assist those who might need an extra hand. We encourage you to refrain from bringing trailers or extra-large vehicles; students should not be bringing enough items to warrant these types of vehicles.

Who can be present at move-in?

Students will be limited to two family members or move-in helpers. This decision is based on guidelines for physical distancing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, public health, and the university’s Ready and Resilient Committee. The two-helper limit will reduce the likelihood of crowded stairwells, elevators, common baths, and hallways.

Additional family members are welcome to come to campus, but they cannot be in the building at the same time with the student. Once the move-in period ends on Saturday, August 15, only residents will be allowed in the residence halls.

Before coming to campus, all individuals should check for symptoms using the COVID-19 screening checklist on the Ready and Resilient website. Anyone exhibiting symptom(s) should not come to campus and should consult their health care provider. You can read about screening and other resources on the Ready and Resilient website.

How should I pack my things?

Please follow these guidelines when packing:

  • Don’t bring it all! Due to the uncertain nature of COVID-19 and the fall semester, students are strongly encouraged to pack only necessary items – enough to last through November 25.
  • Consider bringing a dolly or handcart to make moving in easier.
  • Clearly label your belongings with your full name, residence hall, room number, and a contact phone number. Include labels on everything and make them easily visible.
  • Pack everything in a box, suitcase, or storage bin. Loose items are more likely to get lost and create more trips back and forth. In addition, in the event of inclement weather your belongings will be much safer in a box than on their own!
  • Size matters (and weight too)! Remember that, in a lot of cases, you will be using stairs and not elevators to move your belongings.
  • Communicate! Make sure that you have talked with your roommate and made an effort to avoid duplicating items for your room.
  • Be informed! Make sure that you review the list of what to bring and not bring and know what is and is not allowed in your room. Again, this will save time and effort for everyone!
  • Given the current circumstances, students may not want to travel often so they will need to bring enough items for the semester but not so much that they can’t move it all into their rooms by themselves. Residence Life has provided a suggested packing list to help narrow down items to bring.

Will refreshments be provided?

Elon Dining will be stationed throughout campus distributing water bottles to those who need water. We encourage you to bring your own water bottle. Refill stations will be available in some of the residence halls.

What to Bring

Residence life encourages you to bring items that make your room feel more like home and make campus life more convenient for you.

What you should bring from home:

  • Laptop
  • Power strips (the UL approved, heavy duty type)
  • Smart TV or TV with Roku/HDMI streaming capabilities
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Desk lamp (not halogen), alarm clock, electric fan, small trash can, recycling bin
  • High-Efficiency Light Bulbs (LED or CFL) for desk lamps
  • Reusable water bottle and mug
  • Small refrigerator (10 amps or less)
  • TV
  • Linens, towels, blanket, pillow, mattress pad
  • Laundry basket/detergent/dryer sheets
  • Clothes drying rack/hangers
  • Hairdryer, curling iron, razors

If you have questions, please contact Residence Life at or 336-278-7300.

In light of Covid-19, please be sure to also bring the following items:

In light of Covid-19, Residence Life encourage you to bring the following items:

  • Cleaning supplies (ex. antibacterial spray or wipes, window cleaner)
  • At least 5 washable face coverings (required on campus)
  • Hand soap/sanitizer
  • Facial Tissues
  • Non-perishable foods for your room
  • Bottled Water
  • First Aid Kit
  • Trash bags
  • Toilet Paper/Paper Towels
  • Thermometer
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Utensils
  • Medical information (ex. insurance information)

If you have questions, please contact Residence Life at or 336-278-7300.

What Not to Bring

Residence life encourages you to leave these items at home:

  • Microwaves and toaster ovens (except in Danieley Center kitchen area)
  • Extension cords
  • Halogen lamps
  • Cinder blocks to raise beds
  • Power tools
  • Gas, charcoal or electric grills
  • Candles (no candles are allowed at all), incense, or fireworks
  • Holiday (string) Lights; also LED lights
  • Hoverboards (including self-balancing scooters, battery operated scooters, hands-free seaways, and similar items)
  • Space Heaters
  • Electric Blankets
  • Wireless routers
  • Salt lamps
  • Any open-coil heating appliance
  • Pets (ONLY non-lethal fish in a 10-gallon tank or smaller are allowed)
  • Weapons
  • Microsoft Office (as a student you get a copy for free!)

If you have questions, please contact Residence Life at or 336-278-7300.